I'm running a simple multiple ring buffer using ArcPy. My goal is to generate a multi ring buffer for each pond in my dataset of 50,000. Here's the line of code:

arcpy.MultipleRingBuffer_analysis(pondsNearCrop, outBufferedPonds, "356.8;792", 'Meters', 'BuffDist', 'NONE', 'OUTSIDE_ONLY')

This results in each pond getting buffered twice to a distance of 792 meters. When I run the following line of code in the Python window in ArcMap, I get the expected results-- one buffer to 356.8 meters, one from 356.8 to 792 meters.

arcpy.MultipleRingBuffer_analysis("selectedPonds_Final", "out", "356.8;792", 'Meters', 'BuffDist', 'NONE', 'OUTSIDE_ONLY')

I can't understand why this works in ArcMap but not when using ArcPy. Has anyone else experienced this?

  • Really strange. My MXD is in meters and works as expected. Not sure what datum is when I'm working in Python. Given the inputs, I'd imagine it's meters. Currently developing a workaround using multiple Buffer_analysis functions. If this fails, I may start experimenting with different datums in the script. Thanks! Apr 8, 2015 at 18:14
  • Sorry: I deleted the comment you just replied to. I had tried your command and was getting a gap between the buffer rings. I thought I was onto something, but as I tried to track down the cause, I started getting inconsistent results and was unable to get it to fail in the same way again.
    – Andy
    Apr 8, 2015 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


Have you tried to write the different distances in a python list : [356.8,792] as describe in the ressources : http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//00080000001p000000

  • 1
    I have-- that was my first approach after reading the documentation. Unfortunately I get the same outcome-- two buffers at 792. Thanks! Apr 8, 2015 at 16:05
  • OK. In this case i don't get why the process fail. what the BuffDist field give as a result ?
    – S_TssG
    Apr 8, 2015 at 16:12
  • The process succeeds, but all records have a BuffDist of 792-- there are no records with 356.8. Apr 8, 2015 at 16:51

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